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Meditation and Mindfulness Exercises for Addiction Recovery

Or, does mindfulness facilitate attentional disengagement and recovery from drug cue-exposure? These questions can be answered by investigating how mindfulness training influences the time course of neural responses to drug cues. Researchers meditation for addiction recovery and clinicians have begun to explore mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) for intervening in SUDs and relapse prevention. Evidence supporting the efficacy of MBIs as an intervention for SUDs and for relapse prevention is growing.

meditation for addiction recovery

Addiction has the power to make you feel alone – but you’re not, there are people out there who can help you. With the power of the mind you can control your thoughts and emotions. Read on for my top tips and advice to use guided meditation to your advantage and help you on your journey to recovery. From stress to other issues, meditation can help soothe your mind, and in doing so can also bring an element of calm to your inner self.

Mindfulness as a means of targeting mechanisms of addiction

Here, our professionals will guide you each and every step of the way. When we engage in the reflection meditation process, we can take a look at what our true values and goals are – not what sounds good, but what is truly authentic to us. There are so many limiting beliefs that inform our daily thoughts and decisions. Uncovering them through reflection meditation creates a new path for us to actively follow and shift those beliefs to ones that are more beneficial. Reflection meditation can be a difficult or uncomfortable process if we are unable to reflect on ourselves in an unbiased way. The process can also be difficult if we are easily distracted by mental chatter or streams of unrelated thoughts.

  • No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.
  • Stress exacerbates several health problems, so reducing stress in any application is positive.
  • When we engage in the reflection meditation process, we can take a look at what our true values and goals are – not what sounds good, but what is truly authentic to us.
  • Whether you follow an online class, or learn the basics yourself, you can start your mindfulness meditation experience right now.

It’s a popular and long-lasting therapy with origins in Buddhist rituals and modern psychiatry alike, with a lot of benefits to explore. Other benefits of meditation therapy include the ability to alter brainwaves, which contributes to improved psychological function and cortisol reduction. Mindfulness practice can enhance the performance of the frontal cortex, the area of the brain that regulates planning and thinking. Meditation also impacts the amygdala, which reduces fear, and increases the activation of the anterior cingulate cortex, governing motivation and motor control. Meditation therapy can assist someone with substance abuse cravings and withdrawal symptoms.

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It aims to cultivate awareness of cues and triggers so that one doesn’t instinctively turn to using drugs. It also helps people get comfortable sitting with unpleasant emotions and thoughts —their distress tolerance, a person’s ability to tolerate emotional discomfort — without automatically escaping by taking a drug. Improving distress tolerance is a common theme to many, if not all, approaches to addiction recovery, as a large part of the appeal of drug use is replacing a bad emotion with a good emotion — for example, by using a drug. Given that SUDs are chronically-relapsing conditions,50,58 any intervention for substance use should acknowledge the risk of relapse and take steps for prevention.

Multiple studies have found mindful meditation can reduce these symptoms. People who meditate may also feel more aware of their thoughts, less bothered by unpleasant experiences and better able to control their emotions. Coming full circle, MBIs are some of the newest additions to the armamentarium of addictions treatment.

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You don’t need to be perfect, especially not when stopping to meditate and calm yourself down. This advice is also important for addiction recovery as a whole, as the more you accept yourself, the less likely you are to suffer a relapse. The most calming forms of meditation are the ones that require less cognitive effort and focus. You’ll want to try relaxation exercises that don’t include controlled breathing, as well as styles that involve mental imagery over a focus on real-life sensations. The harder it is to train yourself, the more work the exercise will be, and the less it will help you to relax when you need to.

meditation for addiction recovery

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